College Football Pick ‘Em Week 4

It’s been a rough go of things trying to figure out what the hell is going to happen in these college games. Last week finished with a 5-5 record to bring the overall record to 14-16. Yeah, that kinda makes me want to scrap this weekly pick ’em altogether. But I have hope. Hope that I have a fucking clue what I’m talking about. And hope that some of these teams will figure out how to be consistent week to week. Last week saw all of my picks that lost (LSU, Michigan, Navy, Virginia Tech, and Pittsburgh) do so at home. Naturally, only one of those games had a final outcome differential of more than 7 points.

Down the list of Week 4 matchups there’s plenty of 50-50 picks, so let’s take a look at what we’ve got here:

Nevada at San Jose State. The Wolfpack come in with two good games against Pac 12 opponents including a win over Washington State (who gave Oregon a run for their money last week), have a balanced attack as well as depth at the running back and wide receiver positions. Given their current trajectory and ability to stop the run (SJSU’s weakness), this game has the potential to go both ways. The Spartans will rely on a decent passing attack to stick around but two tough opponents in prior games weren’t a fair evaluation of their talent level for the Mountain West Conference. Nevada 28, San Jose State 13

Florida State at North Carolina State. FSU proved that they weren’t held together by a talented sophomore quarterback that likes crab legs. They actually have some talent that is refined enough to put out quality numbers in a real game. Don’t look past this other Wolfpack team to stick around. The ACC has always provided interestingly close games over the years and this one being at home for NC State will provide just that. I said keep it close. They won’t win. Mostly because looking at the first 4 games it’s tough to figure out what level they are really at with wins over 3 teams making the jump to FBS and one that is a major rebuild. It would have been more telling had they lost one of those games. Florida State 42, North Carolina State 28

North Carolina at Clemson. Last week did a lot for those who watch these teams closely. We’ve realized that East Carolina is not just a one-hit wonder and North Carolina isn’t a Top 25 quality team at the moment. They may have the overall talent to get there in the end, but not now. Clemson showed that even with the losses of Tajh Boyd and Sammy Watkins they will be fine sooner than later. Still, we have two solid teams. Clemson 28, North Carolina 21

Tyler Murphy continues to run over opponents for Boston College.
Tyler Murphy continues to run over opponents for Boston College.

Colorado State at Boston College. This game has two surprisingly competitive programs that need this game to add to their bowl resume. It’s a game of contrasting styles that should make things interesting in the end. The Rams like to air it out, though they still have a very strong running game. The Eagles like to pound the ball with stud Tyler Murphy. If the Eagles can keep this one close early and manipulate the game through the run it should come out on their end. Boston College 24, Colorado State 21

Duke at Miami. The Miami Hurricanes have two losses to two quality opponents and have done a decent job in beating two cupcakes. The offense hasn’t been the issue so far but instead it’s whether they can stop anybody. Duke has a dynamic offense that gets the ball to plenty of different players. If they can get it going early it will certainly help. This is a different era for sure. Picking Duke at Miami? Really? Well, here it is. Duke 23, Miami 21

Missouri at South Carolina. After an underwhelming performance at home against surprising upstart Indiana, the Tigers need to get back on track. There’s still tons of talent to play with but Maty Mauk needs to work on his accuracy and the defense needs to do a better job of containing big run plays. Unfortunately, the Gamecocks specialize in big run plays and thus will continue a good run all the way into a big matchup with Auburn in a month from now. South Carolina 34, Missouri 24

Stanford at Washington. Stanford comes in the with the ranking but Washington has the better record. Stanford has already played USC and it was close, but they weren’t terribly consistent in that game. Hopefully the week off has them rested and ready to play hard, especially considering their last game was a cake-walk. Save the Eastern Washington game, the Huskies’ defense has looked okay for the most part. The real season starts here with 4 of the next 6 teams currently ranked. Look for a lot of running on both sides of the ball with some play-action sprinkled in. Stanford 17, Washington 14

Minnesota at Michigan. How bad does it have to get for Michigan before they go in a different direction? There are pieces on this team that can be good somewhere and the defense can’t possibly be this mediocre. If they want to go to a bowl game they only have so many more chances to get wins. The B1G may not be top heavy but it is definitely deep. Minnesota on the other hand has continued to surprise off a strong prior season. Still, a win on the road at the Big House would go a long way to having a credibility within the conference. They must be on their game if they want to win with a run-heavy offense. Minnesota 27, Minnesota 17

Temple at Connecticut. This isn’t a flashy game and it really isn’t a flashy conference, but this game should be competitive. Unfortunately, that’s mostly because both teams are unspectacular. Temple does have a win over a rebuilding team at Vanderbilt and only lost by one score to a solid Navy program. Connecticut is a ways away from getting it together. Temple 28, Connecticut 17

Big plays from Tevin Coleman may be the difference in this week's matchup with Maryland.
Big plays from Tevin Coleman may be the difference in this week’s matchup with Maryland.

Maryland at Indiana. I can’t be a homer any longer, especially considering how solid Indiana looked last week while upsetting Missouri on the road. This is going to be a big game for both teams if they want to play into the bowl season without having to bank on unexpected wins down the road. The Hoosiers have been a very balanced squad but have done a lot of their scoring off of big plays. If they can pick up the consistency then the results will really start to come. The same goes for the Terrapins as they absolutely blitzed Syracuse last week before slowing down at the end. CJ Brown has to get back in his accuracy after missing more than a handful of open targets with scoring potential. The run game was solid from Brown as well as the various backs, but it would be nice to see Ross, Veii, and Brown get it together. We’ve already seen that Stefon Diggs doesn’t need the big numbers to affect the game. Deon Long has played well but hasn’t had good throws from Brown. Marcus Leak has been great as the 3rd receiver after being a borderline 5/6 in the preseason. With two more season-ending injuries (this time to starting tight end Andrew Isaacs and starting defensive end Quinton Jefferson) the Terps need to stay healthy to compete. Indiana 45, Maryland 35

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